Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), the government financial intelligence agency tasked with monitoring financial transactions to identify criminal activity in Australia, has released two new guidelines aimed at helping entities spot potential illicit activity.
AUSTRAC targets ransomware activities
The new guidelines from AUSTRAC aim to help entities identify when their customers are using crypto for criminal activity or when they are pressured to pay for ransomware.
According to announcement by the organization, the growing technology of blockchain and the acceptance and adoption of cryptography is happening alongside the increase in cybercrime. He highlighted data from the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC), which reveals that approximately “500 ransomware attacks were reported in 2020-2021, an increase of almost 15% compared to to the previous year”.
The ransomware and “criminal misuse of digital currencies” recommendations are intended not only to help identify bad actors, but also to make it easier for businesses to report suspicious behavior to AUSTRAC, which they should. do after reporting the incident to the police. The guide reads further:
“Where possible, encourage your customers to report ransomware incidents to ACSC’s ReportCyber service and law enforcement agencies.”
AUSTRAC has identified many indicators in its ransomware advice that a consumer may attempt to pay a ransom in haste. Impatient with the speed of transactions, large transactions from newly integrated companies, and transfers of all of one’s holdings followed by a lack of account activity were all on the list.
A serious concern
Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, emerging ransomware in the industry has become a serious concern among regulators around the world. Last year, US Senator Elizabeth Ann Warren introduced a bill to determine the role of crypto in such activities. In December last year, the The FBI seized nearly $2 million in Bitcoin from a ransomware group, as we reported.
Australia has also taken strict action against the same. In October last year, Australian law confirmed its intention to take serious action against ransomware by increasing penalties for perpetrators. Authorities now have the right to freeze financial crypto transactions related to crimes through new structures and changes, regardless of the country of origin of the crime.